Vietnamese guest workers now have to make an initial deposit of 100 million VND (4,760 USD) if they want to work in Seoul. Nguyen Van Ly from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, told VNA that his bank was willing to lend that sum to low-income people.

* You say that your bank is willing to lend money to poor people so that he or she can have the money to deposit before going to work in Seoul. What's the maximum amount that the borrower can get and what are the specific terms and conditions of the loan?

People who are entitled to borrow money from the Bank for Social Policies are those living in poor districts, as classified in the Government's 30a Resolution; or relatives of people who have rendered services to the Revolution; and members of poor households or members of farming households who do not have land to cultivate because their land was acquired by the government for public projects.

Any individual who meets these criteria will be eligible to borrow 100 million VND (at the maximum) to pay for the deposit. The term of the loan will be the same as that of the refundable deposit - 64 months.

For the interest, there are two different rates: 3.9 percent per annum for ethnic minorities and members of poor households living in poor districts, as specified in Government Resolution 30a; and 7.8 percent per annum for the remaining groups.

Borrowing procedures are very simple. The eligible workers only need to go to the nearest bank's transaction office of the Bank for Social Policies to fill out the forms and receive the money. Then the worker must take the sum to the nearest district transaction office to pay for the refundable deposit.

Under the Prime Minister Decision issued on August 21, 2013, the Social Policies Bank is the sole bank to accept the refundable deposits of guest workers wanting to go to work in the Republic of Korea.

The decision has been implemented in accordance with the Employment Permit System launched by the Republic of Korea.

* How will the refundable deposits be managed?

Throughout the time the workers work in the Republic of Korea, the money will be managed by the bank. We guarantee that when we receive the notification from the Department of Overseas Labour Management under the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs about the return home of the guest workers, the money will be available to return to the workers, including the interest rate generated from the deposit money, in line with the bank's policy.

* How about the case in which workers return home before the contracts end?

For the case in which workers violate the contracts and have to return home before the contract end, the bank will deduct the amount of money from the deposits to pay for the damage they cause to their Korean employers. In this case in which the damage is higher than the deposits, the workers have to pay additional sums.

If a worker absconds from work, or does not return home after expiration of a contract, choosing to stay on illegally in the Republic of Korea, he or she will lose his deposit, which will then be donated to the local employment fund.

However, for those who borrow the deposited money from the bank, we will use the refundable deposits to pay back their loans.

In cases in which the guest workers have already paid back their loans or some parts of the loans, we will transfer the remaining sums to the local employment fund.

* How far along has the Bank for Social Policies moved in implementing the pilot project on depositing money by guest workers going to work in the Republic of Korea?

By December 2, 2013 some 19 branches of the bank had received refundable deposits from 109 workers, with a total sum of 519,058 USD. Of this number, 35 people have already left for the Republic of Korea.-VNA